After a 900 million write down, Microsoft is building a Surface RT 2

When the Surface RT launched back in October, it represented a new direction for Microsoft as the platform was running on an ARM processor. By using an alternative CPU, this opened up the possibilities for other vendors to supply the chips that power Microsoft devices. But, with sales not lining up to expectations, Microsoft was forced to write-down the current Surface RT inventory by $900 million and lowered the price of the Surface to help move units.

Couple the write-down with an aggressive advertisement campaign; you would expect that more RT units would by coming off the shelves and into consumer hands. But, until Microsoft gives us more information about sales of the RT tablets, we can only take at face value what the market shows and at this time, the $900 million write-down speaks for itself.

Knowing that Microsoft had trouble moving RTs and that some vendors are now backing away from the platform, whispers began to make the rounds that Microsoft might drop the platform and avoid taking another huge loss. But, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again, right?

Microsoft is building a Surface RT 2 and for those of you who are hoping for a total revamp of the tablet, lower your expectations. The Surface RT 2 is in the process of being built and according to our internal sources, looks very similar to the current iteration of the Surface RT.

Expect to see the Surface RT 2 to look visually similar to the current RT but with a modest spec bump under the hood. This should not come as a major surprise as the Surface form-factor works quite well and upping the specs will help to keep the RT competitive with market comparable.

Current rumors suggest that there will be a Snapdragon 800 powering the device (check out our hands on here) which will increase horsepower with a smaller footprint on the battery.

While we don’t have any additional information on a launch, expectation would suggest that when Windows 8.1 launches, we should see a Surface announcement around that time.

We will be quite curious to see the price-point for the launch as Microsoft has already shown that at the $499 price point, the RT is a tough sell to the consumer despite its value proposition of including Office.  The current $350 price point appears to be much more consumer friendly and also handily undercuts it’s strongest completion from Apple.

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runningnak3d said,
The reason the Surface, and all RT based devices, aren't selling is because of Metro. Windows 8 is getting a few sales because most people don't know that there are still machines you can buy with Windows 7. Since it comes preloaded. of course there are going to be some sales. Also, with Windows 8 you can still run desktop apps, but with RT you are stuck with pure Metro CRAP, and no one wants that crap except for Dot Matrix.

Oh look. A troll has appeared. Mods?

If they increase the horsepower, it's a first-day ordering for me.

My Surface RT is awesome, I use it far more than my iPad mini.
Just can't wait.

S3P€hR said,
Surface PRO II would be my choice

Yes please. I have a couple Androids for lightweight work, leave the budget stuff to them. I'll take a tablet that runs applets and full programs any day.

It will be nice to see the Microsoft Surface 2 Tablet (RT) but that one will unfortunately not sell as well

Don't understand me wrong, the Windows Tablet is pretty powerful, it is the only one that runs 2 apps on the same screen at the same time, it presents the apps in a beautiful tablet mode start screen, and all the new work that is done on Windows is to make the tablet mode better.

As a consumer I most likely will get an Android tablet, here is why:

- Nexus 10 is cheaper, and the next Nexus 10 is expected to be the same price and more powerful.
- I love Google Maps, I am not sure if you used that think on Android, but once you realize that it can find anything for you and locate it and take you there, there is just no going back, and Google Maps (the app) is not available for Windows 8 Tablet.
- I love Google Plus (the app on Android) and that App is not there on Windows 8
- I have tons on Photos on Google Drive, I know I can move them to SkyDrive, but SkyDrive is limited to a 100GB and I am one of the people who uses more, so anyway Google Drive is not available on Windows tablet.
- YouTube, have you seen the latest Android App released 2 days ago, just beauty, and that is not available on Windows as app.
- The list goes on

Windows 8 Tablet is a nice OS, a pretty good one, but Ballmer's / Microsoft's arrogance made everyone hate them, and the results are clear, their OS lacks of critical apps.

Windows 8.1 Tablets will not sell, but this is not because Windows 8.1 or 8.2 is not good, it is just missing the apps this time.

I moved away from Google a while ago, and seriously don't miss it.

Only use still is Google search, as Bing doesn't really get the result I need over here.

Nice to see a decent response on here.


- Nexus 10 is cheaper, and the next Nexus 10 is expected to be the same price and more powerful.

Have you considered the alternatives such as the Dell or the ASUS? What does the extra power give you? Is the i5 too much power?


- I love Google Maps, I am not sure if you used that think on Android, but once you realize that it can find anything for you and locate it and take you there, there is just no going back, and Google Maps (the app) is not available for Windows 8 Tablet.

What features specifically? I agree, the website doesn't have anywhere near the experience that the app has. I've found Bing maps to be somewhat acceptable, but I'm not in the US so I don't get all the benefits of Bing. The Nokia maps apps on my phone are far better than google maps in my experience. It'll be interesting when Nokia make the desktop equivalents, like they did with Music.


- I love Google Plus (the app on Android) and that App is not there on Windows 8

Fair enough

- I have tons on Photos on Google Drive, I know I can move them to SkyDrive, but SkyDrive is limited to a 100GB and I am one of the people who uses more, so anyway Google Drive is not available on Windows tablet.

Really? What does the app do that the web client does not? Android's file system has been anything but intuitive.

- YouTube, have you seen the latest Android App released 2 days ago, just beauty, and that is not available on Windows as app.

This has got to be the most anti-competitive bull**** I've ever seen pulled. But from a consumers perspective, I can see how you wouldn't care. I can attest to the fact that the Youtube apps are not up to par.

- The list goes on

Windows 8 Tablet is a nice OS, a pretty good one, but Ballmer's / Microsoft's arrogance made everyone hate them, and the results are clear, their OS lacks of critical apps.

To be honest, it doesn't lack critical apps. You are commited to the google eco system and are unwilling to move. There is nothing wrong with that, but it doesn't mean the Microsfot solution isn't a suitable alternative. There are many things that the MS ecosystem provides that the google one does not.

Arrogance? Can you back this up? There is unjustified hate for Microsoft from many areas. It's common to find brand loytalty like this everywhere. Cars is another area people seem to have misplaced loyalties.


It's not the apps. The only app you have mentioned is Youtube, and the website works just fine on a 10" screen.

I personally think a lot of issues come from all the "IT Experts" running around bagging Windows, despite unable to leave their bias at the door. I'm afraid this is an exercise for the marketing department.

Lord Method Man said,
Getting closer every day to the original Surface RT being $200 with touch keyboard cover.

Maybe after the new ones are out, and that's still a maybe.

I remember being so ****ed off the day MS announced the pricing of both Surface RT models along with their Touch and Type Covers. They were simply priced too high than what it should have been. At those prices MS wasn't going to recoup losses because they weren't going to sell enough at those prices to do so...the prices were out of range for most people that would be interested enough in buying one . The prices they have now are the exact prices the thing should have launched at. With the advertising they did do and a nice $350 starting price point they would have moved a lot more tablets and covers...their losses would not have been 900 million. They could have built up enough userbase that would have created a nice starting point for future Surfaces. MS cant fail on the pricing this time. Windows RT is not Windows 8 and with damn near every other OEM not doing RT models anymore, this leaves a great opportunity for MS and Nokia to really own this space. When Nokia launched their first WPs, they were good phones priced LOWER than their compeitions flagships...MS has to keep this new pricing for Surface RT even on the new models.

The price was set towards the iPads, which - in hindsight - wasn't the best thing to do.

Also, and this has been discussed to death, MS failed in explaining the difference between RT and a 'regular' W8 tablet.

As soon as people started moaning on the big wide web, MS was in for another old fashioned complain fest......

CygnusOrion said,
So give up on Windows tablet eh?

There is no give-up, but the days when Microsoft's OS was the guy that you needed to do anything are over, there are now apps, and these apps are not working on the Microsoft OS due to management arrogance and mistakes.

People will buy Surface RT, but not in millions.

Google and Apple will sooner or later do the same mistakes, and Microsoft may take over again, who knows.

There are tons of apps waiting to be built, and there are tons of API that are waiting to be implemented in an operating system, look at everything around you, it is missing something:

Your house does not know who you are, because your house is not smart, it needs a PC and an OS with API that will make it smart.

Your car is not smart neither, well, it has no clue who the driver is or what is he doing. your TV is getting smart, thanks to Android.

Look at home robotics, yeh, it does not exist, and just everyone needs it, it needs an OS that makes it exist, and that is not there yet.

And the list goes on, and I am sure that Microsoft will simply miss all of them

John Nemesh said,

Nothing wrong with a Window PRO tablet. RT needs to die screaming, though.

Not everyone needs Pro and a x86 tablet, even fewer who buy a tablet need the desktop and desktop apps. The problem RT faced from the start was that the core apps were bad, the updated ones in 8.1 should've been there from day 1 on 8.0 but weren't. With enough good apps and games in the store there's no reason not to get a RT device over a Pro x86 device depending on your needs.

John Nemesh said,

Nothing wrong with a Window PRO tablet. RT needs to die screaming, though.

Why exactly? Windows RT does most, if not all, of the things that iOS and Android tablet's do. I buy a tablet to use it as tablet, not a laptop or PC, so why do I need desktop apps on a tablet?

TCLN Ryster said,

Why exactly? Windows RT does most, if not all, of the things that iOS and Android tablet's do. I buy a tablet to use it as tablet, not a laptop or PC, so why do I need desktop apps on a tablet?

Although I disagree that RT needs to die as stated above, I have a surface pro and I love that I can use it like a tablet when I need and then dock it at home and use it as a desktop; all in one small package. I don't even own a laptop anymore.

I use desktop apps on my tablet when it is performing desktop tasks while docked and sometimes when not docked.

I might be interested in a smaller version.

I'm a little confused by these x86-based 8.1" tablets. If there's any obvious fit for Windows RT and ARM that ought to be it. Maybe the Surface range will soon reflect this.

That's nice, for a peripheral portion of their business. What is Microsoft planning for their core business, i.e., non touch-centric laptops and desktops? If a business' "foundation" product or service is faulty, what difference does it make with the "peripherals?"

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